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Deadly Chlorine, Dubious Doctor
on October 23, 2006
From one review:
"The addition of chlorine, a known poison is one of the most unpalatable aspects of this sweetener opines Dr. Hull. Pointing out differences between chlorine occurring naturally with the man made version in sucralose, she leaves no stone unturned in explaining the potential harmful effects of ingesting a compound containing man made chlorine."
There's no such thing as "man-made" chlorine. Chlorine is an element.
From another review:
"Splenda is chlorine-based, the same as the basis of DDT."
Picture, if you will, two highly dangerous substances: first, the metallic element sodium, so violently reactive it ignites when exposed to air. The second: chlorine, a deadly gas. Put the two together, add a little energy, and POOF! What do you get? Sodium chloride, or common table salt, not only not poisonous, but a necessity of life.
Hull's argument that Splenda is unsafe because of its reliance on chlorine betrays a lack of understanding of high school chemistry. However, this isn't surprising: "Dr." Hull obtained her "Doctorate" from "Clayton College Of Natural Health", a distance learning college that is only accredited by, in their website's own words, "the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and the American Naturopathic Medical Accreditation Board. These are private, professional associations that offer accreditation in naturopathy and other areas of natural health. Both are private accrediting associations designed to meet the needs of non-traditional education and are not affiliated with any government agency." In short, it's not recognized by any educational accreditation organization. The only "Doctor of Nutrition" program they offer is "Doctor of Philosophy in Holistic Nutrition", whose courses include such titles as "Cancer: Prevention and Politics" and "Nutritional Healing: Ayurvedic Perspectives", with the only chemistry involved "Chemistry Fundamentals". I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if her Masters, if not her Bachelor degree too, came from this outfit. Ironically, the web site for her aspartame book claims "Dr. Janet Hull's aspartame expertise is based on her professional background." Well, that's enough reason not to read the book right there. I should also mention that this "college" teaches courses in "iridology", the claim that the state of health of an individual can be determined by the patterns of their iris. It is also "accredited" by an iridology association. To quote from Wikipedia: "It has been pointed that the premise of iridology is at odds with the notion that the iris does not undergo changes in an individual's life. Iris texture is a phenotypical feature which develops during gestation and remains unchanged since birth. There is no evidence for changes in the iris pattern other than variations in pigmentation in the first year of life, eventual freckles and variations caused by glaucoma treatment. This stability of iris structures is at the foundation of iris recognition for identification purposes.... Scientific research into iridology has shown mostly, but not entirely, negative results. However, all double blinded, rigorous tests of iridology have failed to find any statistical significance to iridology.... In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association... three iridologists incorrectly identified kidney disease in photographs of irises and often disagreed with each other. The researchers concluded: 'iridology was neither selective nor specific, and the likelihood of correct detection was statistically no better than chance.'" In other words, "Dr." Hull's "college" is accredited by, and teaches the beliefs of, quacks.
For the reviewer who couldn't figure out whether she was a firefighter or a doctor, according to her official bio she's both. And so much more: " She holds a Doctorate in Nutrition, a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, is an international geographer and geologist, a former university professor, firefighter and Hazardous Waste Specialist and Emergency Responder. She is a Licensed Certified Nutritionist, certified fitness professional, author and aspartame victim."
Folks, I would recommend taking this information along with that of several other reviewers' (short book, half of it recycling material on aspartame from her last book, etc) and decide to spend your money elsewhere. There are other books written by competent, qualified researchers with bona fide credentials that document the health effects of aspartame. And it would seem that the only one warning about Splenda would be "Dr." Hull, at least for now (although, unlike aspartame, a lot of positive research exists on Splenda). And don't forget to laugh the next time someone tells you to avoid Splenda because it "has chlorine it it" (I've seen one other unqualifed website make that argument). The chlorine is a part of the sucralose molecule, just as it is in table salt, and it's the chemical properties of the molecule that is the question.